Future Of Davis School Parcel Tax Uncertain



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 08, 2013

A lower court struck down part of a similar school parcel tax in Alameda and the Supreme Court decided to let that ruling stand.

Darien Shanske is a law professor at the UC Davis School of Law.  

“The Supreme Court decision not to hear the Alameda case is certainly a positive sign for the challengers but it doesn’t, the Supreme Court case doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court decision. It has its own reasons not to hear the case.”

Shanske says one reason would be if the lower court had split on an issue of constitutional interpretation…only the Supreme Court could clarify matters. In the Alameda case, there is no constitutional issue. 

Shanske says one possibility is for Davis to switch to a single-flat rate.    

“There’s also a bill pending in the legislature that would clarify the statute or arguably change the statute to allow parcel taxes with more than one rate. And of course if that happens then Davis could pass the same measure but with a different authorization. So there are a lot of possible ways this can go.”

Davis voters approved “Measure E” last November. It charges $204 a-year for single-family homes and $20 per-unit per-year for apartments and duplexes. Tax activists don’t like the two-tier tax structure. A hearing is set for July 29th in Yolo Superior Court.

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